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Local florists' offer to replace stolen roses from Shirley cemetery

Disgusted by the shameful act, local florists have come forward with offers to replace the flowers.

Sandra and Maurice Powell

Generous florists left “sickened” after 51 roses were stolen from a memorial have come forward with offers to replace them.

Shocking CCTV images have captured a female thief taking the flowers from a memorial area at Robin Hood Cemetery, just 24 hours after grieving widower Maurice Powell laid them down in memory of his dead wife.

Mr Powell, aged 75, had bought a rose for every year of marriage to sweetheart Sandra, who died from cancer at the age of 70.

The widower, from Hall Green, placed the flowers at the cemetery following his wife’s cremation on July 18.

Disgusted by the shameful act, local florists have come forward with offers to replace the flowers.

Vicki Nash, co owner of the Bloom Rooms Florist in Acocks Green, said: “We are just disgusted by this and wanted to offer a replacement floral tribute to Mr Powell, free of charge. We wanted to show Mr Powell a bit of compassion while he is dealing with such a difficult time already.”

Gary Hickman, who runs 10 branches of The Co-operative Florists, including a shop in Pershore Road, also got in touch.

“It was just blatantly wrong and this story just really tugged at our heart strings,” Mr Hickman said.

“I don’t believe this is a reflection of society in general, it’s more of a cruel act of one individual.

“We are very much a community based business and we just wanted to extend our offer of help. We understand if Mr Powell wants to keep things low key but anything we can do, whether it is helping out when he scatters his wife’s ashes on August 7, we are there for him.”

While Mr Powell declined the offer to replace the roses, he thanked people for their ‘kindness’ and has asked anyone who would like to help to make a donation to the Macmillan charity. “There would not be anywhere to place them now,” Mr Powell said.

“Now, I would prefer a donation be made to Macmillan. There is a collection box at the cemetery.”

 

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